• When our children go astray

    By Dr. Micaela Wexler

    As a physician who specializes in child psychiatry, I have had the privilege of working with teenagers and learning their deepest thoughts. I have been very impressed with this generation of teenagers, with their open mindedness, their innovative ways of thinking about the world. It saddens me when I see the adults in their world neglect them by passing up opportunities to guide them to fulfill their potential. As part of my job, this is unfortunately something I see every day.

    It was jarring to read about the group of girls from St. Teresa’s Academy who posted pictures of themselves standing in front of beer cups arranged to form a swastika. Then to read that their discipline consisted of a day of reflection was shocking.

    This is not the setting in which I expect to see teenagers being cheated and neglected by the adults in their lives. I would think that the reason their parents have given sizable donations to St Teresa’s Academy is because they believe in and want to uphold the social justice values for which this venerable institution is known.

    Their daughters clearly wandered astray from these values when they used a symbol of hate as a form of entertainment. Sadly, they have been allowed to remain astray by the people most responsible for for their spiritual safety. Allowing their children to be cheated of an education has eroded the value of these donations which are ostensibly the reason for the light discipline. Cleary, their educators have neglected to teach them properly. Instead of being held accountable for, and correcting these deficits in the education of these students, the teachers and administrators are essentially let off the hook.
    As a Jew, I am heartbroken to see this happening during the holiest days in the Jewish calendar, when we celebrate the birthday of the world and atone for the sins of the world, a time of renewed hope in the promise of a better tomorrow. Anti-semitism hurts everyone, not just the Jewish people. Our children, all of them, are the future and hope for all of us. They deserve nothing less than to be brought back when they have wandered astray.

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